The end of Moore's Law

The best way to confirm this slowdown in progress of computing power is to try to run your current programs on a 6-year-old computer. You will likely have few problems since computers have not sped up greatly during the past 6 years. If you had tried this experiment a decade ago you would have found a 6-year-old computer to be close to useless as Intel and others were able to get much greater gains per year in performance than they are getting today.
— Eric Klein, lifeboat.com

I use my Macbook Pro (Early 2011) daily. I use it for browsing, watching videos, music creation and app development. It is still is able to handle all these tasks quite well; although more recently, I did see an overall drop in system responsiveness. That was easily improved by

  • increasing RAM to 16GB from 4GB
  • swapping in a 256GB SSD in place of the stock 320GB HDD

I suppose no other computing component has contributed to improving overall system responsiveness in recent years as the SSD has. The difference it makes is quite remarkable - my boot time reduced by a eighth of what it used to take, and all my applications load faster and act snappier.

Sure the RAM helps, but the SSD is in a whole different league.

The source article also makes note of GPU advances, the popularity of XP and 3D integrated circuits as a way to improve transistor packing - a short but interesting read.

I'll just sit and wait for my quantum computer.